Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Little business, big problems

Posted By on Wed, Dec 24, 2008 at 10:06 AM

With the economy slipping, we’ve all been suffering both directly and indirectly, having to make some changes like tightening budgets or even cutting down on things. We hear about big businesses struggling to stay up and running as an effect of the recent falls of the economy, but what about the little guys?

Creative Loafing took the time to see how some of the smaller local businesses have been doing during these tough times, and they too have had to adjust. City Supply, a furniture store in Charlotte, has been feeling the pressure of the inflation in our economy, and has had to put in a great effort to keep up.

“Sales are definitely very, very down,” said Robert Boyd, manager of City Supply. “It affected sales quite a bit. It hurt.” In fact, they’re only selling about half of what they did last year for the month of December. They haven’t raised any of their prices, but because the prices of gas were so high, prices went up on them for freights. City Supply has managed to stay afloat, but it’s been tough.

Some other businesses though, are luckier than others and are still prospering.

“I had to change my practices, like what I bring in, nothing really extreme though. I’ve managed to stay up but I’ve had to try harder,” said Scott Wifhart, manager of Lunchbox Records. Sales for Lunchbox Records have actually gone up compared to the year before, and although times are tough, he’s managed to keep things rolling.

Calls to some other locally owned spots, including Civilian in Phillips Place and Envy in Plaza Midwood, went unanswered. We're hoping they were too busy with customers.

So the next time you drop in to your favorite little boutique, give ’em props for being able to stay open in such a dog-eat-dog business world.

— Robyn Banez

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